Leaders share Guam's story on Capitol Hill - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Leaders share Guam's story on Capitol Hill

Posted: Updated:

While Guam has welcomed numerous government officials as part of congressional delegation visits, island leaders and the business community have also had a chance to make their way to the nation's capitol to share the Guam story. Nearly 30 years ago, the military presence on Guam substantially decreased resulting in the loss of several high paying jobs. As a result, the Guam Chamber of Commerce established the Armed Forces Committee.

"The AFC the goal created 18 years ago was aimed at expanding the military footprint in order to reinvigorate local business and employment opportunities, increase the mix of higher waged jobs that had deteriorated to only low-wage service jobs, and to also help improve the island's economy and tax base," explained Gerry Perez, chairman of the committee.

And from promoting the strategic and economic benefits to the geopolitical value of Guam and the Marianas to the nation - efforts by the committee have definitely grown. In fact, Perez says efforts to promote the committee's agenda have led to annual visits to the nation's capital speaking with key stakeholders. Most recently, a group of five members returned from a visit to the Pacific Command in Hawaii and the Pentagon and Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Perez explained the key takeaways during a Guam Chamber of Commerce membership meeting today, saying, "One of them is sequestration and the budget environment and how that affects the relocation of marines and we found out in talking to several people in the Hill that is the emerging bipartisan support in Congress now."

The visit included meetings with members from the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The second major theme concerned china's territorial assertions in our area their investment in military modernization. The third involved the rebalance issue and the Asian pivot in terms of policy implementation.

Said Perez, "This is the probably the most positive feedback feeling we've had in recent memory with respect to the relocation of Marines to Guam and we sense of a more unified direction both in the congress as well as the administration, and the HASC is pretty optimistic in overcoming sequestration cap as I eluded to earlier. And there's less focus on disagreement and more how, and the philosophy now seems to be how best how to make this thing work cost-effectively."

Members of the AFC were also joined by members of the Guam US Asia Alliance. Perez says it was important to send the Guam message but also expand the Guam agenda beyond the Pentagon and Capitol Hill and reach thinktank resources.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Outback Steakhouse staffers feed homeless in Dededo

    Outback Steakhouse staffers feed homeless in Dededo

    On Monday our friends over at Outback Steakhouse volunteered their time and food to feed the homeless at the Dededo Mayor's Office. They grilled on site and fed over 70 individuals who came out to enjoy some good old fashioned barbecue, Outback style! Outback Steakhouse is closed temporarily for a major remodel and renovations. It is expected to re-open in early December. The renovation is part of their 20th Anniversary activities and while renovations are under way, the team have b...More >>
    On Monday our friends over at Outback Steakhouse volunteered their time and food to feed the homeless at the Dededo Mayor's Office. They grilled on site and fed over 70 individuals who came out to enjoy some good old fashioned barbecue, Outback style! Outback Steakhouse is closed temporarily for a major remodel and renovations. It is expected to re-open in early December. The renovation is part of their 20th Anniversary activities and while renovations are under way, the team have b...More >>
  • Mark Charfauros informed of slight delay in his trial

    Mark Charfauros informed of slight delay in his trial

    Will he make his comeback to the Guam Police Department? He'll need to have his case settled in the courts before the Civil Service Commission will entertain his termination appeal. Former police colonel Mark Charfauros appeared in court on Tuesday. There he was advised there would be a slight delay to his February trial. When asked if parties would reach a resolution instead of going to trial, defense attorney Randy Cunliffe stated "I doubt it." Trial is now scheduled ...More >>
    Will he make his comeback to the Guam Police Department? He'll need to have his case settled in the courts before the Civil Service Commission will entertain his termination appeal. Former police colonel Mark Charfauros appeared in court on Tuesday. There he was advised there would be a slight delay to his February trial. When asked if parties would reach a resolution instead of going to trial, defense attorney Randy Cunliffe stated "I doubt it." Trial is now scheduled ...More >>
  • Chief judge dismisses case against GEB members

    Chief judge dismisses case against GEB members

    It's official. In an order issued this week, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood dismissed with prejudice the case against two Guam Education Board members in their individual capacities. They are Rosie Tainatongo and Jose Cruz, both of whom resolved their issues with Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez. If you recall, Fernandez filed a $7 million lawsuit in the federal court after the board terminated his contract. No action was taken for the remaining GEB membe...More >>
    It's official. In an order issued this week, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood dismissed with prejudice the case against two Guam Education Board members in their individual capacities. They are Rosie Tainatongo and Jose Cruz, both of whom resolved their issues with Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez. If you recall, Fernandez filed a $7 million lawsuit in the federal court after the board terminated his contract. No action was taken for the remaining GEB membe...More >>
Powered by Frankly